I love it. Last wednesday I had a day off from work and started it off, thanks to my sweet Luke, with breakfast in bed. After he ate (in 2 minutes) and rushed out the door to work, I took Rue on a walk in our beautiful backyard park. I think it's safe to say that we are both proud to be a part of this neighborhood. It can be a hard neighborhood for many folks, including us, but there is a lot to savor in this place. I've learned to look for what it has to offer: what is beautiful and what is ugly rubbing shoulders; the darkness grappling with the light.
I realized recently that Luke and I are not really in any position to argue with Louisville right now. We have a house that we're doing some real grown-up repairs on, a couple of acres across the river we want to buy, and neighbors that we're coming to know. I walk the streets of this neighborhood every day - and I imagine the day when it's us who have lived in this neighborhood for 15 years, when it's not new and unfamiliar anymore. Then maybe we will see, from our kitchen window in the Winter or front porch in the Spring, the changes that happen subtly over time. That's why we're here. It's hard to imagine the things that can come and almost even harder to remember to look for it.
Perhaps, in the future, the shouts and the traffic and the sirens will become normal to us. Perhaps this neighborhood will swell with love. Perhaps the young men will play football in the Fall and hold good jobs and have good manners and love the women they're with.
It's my first Fall in this house, with my husband and our new life. My pots and pans shudder with each weight-bearing truck that passes us on Oak Street. The branches of the tree in our neighbor's backyard shakes it's leaves like golden snow from a burdened winter cloud. The men in this neighborhood, black and white, do their work with cigarettes still in their mouths. Such a man came over to me today, toothless and serene, his eyes as dark as his face, as I tried to lift the front end of my car over a 5 gallon bucket wedged underneath. He walked purposefully toward the tire and lifted. I noticed he had on a gold wedding ring, a plastic Stop 'n Go bag in his hand, and a dark blue worker's uniform with a name tag I couldn't read. I snatched the bucket and it was over instantly. I thanked him twice and he walked away, my neighbor for a moment.